Joe Mazzola has strong faith in Brad Stevens, despite previous accusations


Brad Stevens said he personally checked out the Celtics interim coach in 2019.

Before Hiring Celtics Joe Mazola In 2019, Chief of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens personally checked his background.

Stevens addressed questions about Mazola’s background in A Press Conference Friday, including why the Celtics are feeling comfortable after replacing Im Odoka, who has been suspended throughout the 2022-23 season for a term ‘Violations’ of team policies.

Humiliating, 34 years old, was He was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery in 2009 He allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck in a bar while he was in college. The case was settled out of court, according to ESPN’s Mallika Andrews.

“When we were thinking about hiring him as an assistant,” Stevens said. “I examined that and the accidents when he was in college really thoroughly. And I’ll tell you this: I strongly believe in the essentiality of Joe as a person.”

In 2010, Mazola and one of his teammates were in West Virginia He was martyred for public urination. he is He was also indicted in 2008 With a minor subjected to drinking alcohol and aggravating assault on a police officer, he pleaded misdemeanor charges related to disorderly conduct and drunkenness in public.

“He’s been very open with me about how those moments affected him in every way and you can see that the way he carries himself,” Stevens said. “You can see that for a long time. We’ve had years to get to know him. He’s been with us for three years.

“You’ve probably seen articles about him since about that time and I’m sure I read there years ago when I hired him as an assistant,” Stevens said. “But I very much believe that this has shaped him into what he is today in a really good way. But he will be the first to tell you that he is 110 percent responsible for that, and I will be the first to tell you that I believe in him.”

Mazzulla is widely considered a rookie in the NBA coaching ranks.

He was an assistant coach for five years at the college level in Division Two before spending two years with the Maine Red Claws. He left Red Claws to become the head coach at Fairmont State. Stevens hired Mazzulla as an assistant coach with the Celtics in 2019.

Mazzulla was in the final stage for a head coach position at the Utah Jazz during an off-season period. Jazz eventually hired former Celtics assistant Will Hardy for the position.

in ESPN Adrian Vojnarowski He said Mazzola is someone who would eventually become the head coach of the NBA one day anyway, but the fallout from Odoka’s situation made that day faster than he had anticipated.

The Celtics, who are entering the season as the favorite bettor to win the NBA Finals, will begin their training camp next week.

“I believe in Joe’s leadership,” Stevens said. And again with all of them [Celtics assistant coaches] Bringing their strength to the table, I think it will be an incredible challenge but I am really confident in the team and the technical staff that will take the field on Tuesday. It wasn’t what we expected to happen, but I’m very confident about it.”

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